Thursday, May 3, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks -Making a Fresh Start


How many of us had to make a fresh start? I know some of us made choices for a fresh start whereas others were forced into it either by an ending of a marriage or a health issue. Whatever the reason, we can all relate in some ways although I’m not sure how many dealt with the issues in the movies I’m about to talk about. Check out Wandering Through The Shelves and see what other films have been chosen. Here are my 3...

1. WAY DOWN EAST-1920


Yes, I went back....waaaaaay back to a film that shows its age and I don’t mean that it just a silent film but one that goes with the times of that era. We must remember that people were not as tolerant as they are today. It stars the remarkable Lilian Gish as a naive girl taken in by a smooth talking jerk (we have all been there) and becomes pregnant by him(not all of us have been there:)). Of course, he drops her like a hot potato and, when her baby dies, she wanders out into the cruel world until she comes to a home where she decides to start a new life. This film has the famous climax of Gish on a floating ice field with her hand and hair dangling in the water with Richard Barthlemess jumping from ice to ice trying to reach her. Now, they are not going over a major waterfall like Niagara Falls but they did film this during an actual blizzard and the cameraman, Billy Bitzer, had to do all he could to make sure the camera would not freeze. When I watched the AFI salute to Ms. Gish and they showed this scene, there was an expression "OMG" from the audience at the climax of that scene. I’ll never forget that nor that Gish suffered from pain in her hand until she died.

2.  WATERLOO BRIDGE-1940


This is a pure doomed romance set during the war...the First World War but obviously making a statement on the Second that was going on at this point. It stars the beautiful Vivien Leigh as a young ballerina who falls for a handsome and rich man ready to go to war. They plan to marry but she finds out he has died at the front and she is destroyed. Naturally she turns to hooking for a living so her life turns to crap only to find out he never did die. What is a girl to do change her life again? She was a good girl gone bad trying to make good but this is the height of the Hollywood Censorship time so what will happen?? This was Vivien Leigh’s, Robert Taylor’s and Winston Churchill’s favourite film.

3. SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY-1991


Oh yes, I moved ahead a few decades because I just re-watched this film about a month or so ago. It stars Julia Roberts as a young woman married to a handsome, rich man who happens to be a very controlling, physically and emotionally abusive man. She can’t take it anymore so she decides to fake her own death and start a brand new life in a nice American town in a home I wish I could afford. What will happen?? Well, you can take a few guesses since this film is not surprising by any means but I have a better view of this film the second time around. It is well acted and well thought out and I was most surprised by Patrick Bergin who plays her husband. It’s worth taking a look but know it is not a masterpiece by any means.

What films would you choose?

49 comments:

  1. Hiding Out popped in. Sure there are many more.

    I vaguely recall Sleeping with the Enemy, wasn't a bad watch. Never even heard of the first one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don’t know Hiding Out but will check it out. My first pick is a true oldie

      Delete
  2. I vaguely recall that film as well.
    Groundhog Day! Now there's a fun fresh start.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes for sure. A new start over and over and over again:)

      Delete
  3. Hi, Birgit!

    I greatly admire Lilian Gish, having studied her in my college cinema history course along with another epic film in which she appeared, Birth of a Nation. I never saw Way Down East and was astonished to watch the daring and dangerous stunt in which Lilian sacrificed safety and well being to achieve utter realism on an icy river. That clip should be required viewing for every pampered starlet of Generation Z.

    Waterloo Bridge is another film that I have not yet seen. I don't know what ladies of the evening looked and sounded like 100 years ago, but the one portrayed by the lovely Vivian Leigh does not resemble 99.9% of today's streetwalkers. I noticed Maria Ouspenskaya in the credits. The following year Maria played the old gypsy woman who explained the facts of life to Larry Talbot in The Wolfman.

    I saw Sleeping With the Enemy upon its release and enjoyed it, but a few years later I was left with an unfavorable impression of Julia Roberts when she acted like a real b--ch on The Howard Stern Show, exhibiting no sense of humor and refusing to go along with Howard's playful interview format. Sleeping With the Enemy featured actor Kyle Secor who starred that same year in one of my favorite films, the little known crime drama Delusion.

    Have a super day, dear friend BB!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That water scene is truly scary and both actors could have died. Apparently her hair literally broke off after the scene was done due to the cold. Vivien would be very popular considering how true prostitutes look like. Julia was not my favourite at all at that time and she was not well liked by the town where this was filmed for her nasty comments. She recently said that she was a real bitch when she was young

      Delete
  4. Not seen the silent but have seen the other two. Not sure what film I would choose as I am in a brain fog at the moment after listening to the storms all night. Not a Julia Roberts fan but I support anyone who stands up to a--h--- Stern.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first film is quite beautiful if you can watch a silent film. They are some of my favourite viewings. I am not a huge fan of Julia either although I like her better now than before.

      Delete
  5. I haven't seen these but I'm aware of Sleeping With the Enemy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figured the only one know is my last pick

      Delete
  6. I haven't seen any of these but Sleeping with the Enemy is on my watchlist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I look forward to see what you say about this film

      Delete
  7. Yes, I have seen Sleeping with the Enemy. One point! I haven’t heard of either of the others, though I have recently seen a silent movie with Lilian Gish. Half a point, maybe? Terrible about her hand - she really suffered for her art there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes she loved her art and wanted silent films to return

      Delete
  8. While the climax of Way Down East is gripping and still impressive to this day the rest of it is a creaky slog, at least I found it so, with only Gish really standing out. Barthlemess was a real looker at this point though.

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Waterloo Bridge! It is really the ne plus ultra of tragic romance even more so than Now, Voyager. Vivien is amazing in the lead as is Virginia Field as her steadfast friend Kitty. I've seen the original with Mae Clark and a young Bette Davis, in an inconsequential role, and while it's grittier and truer to life it doesn't have the same emotional sock as this.

    Sleeping with the Enemy is a cliched thing but entertaining in its preposterous way. A minor film but I remember it came out just when Roberts went supernova and her fame made it a blockbuster.

    I did a mix of a new start in moving and a fresh start in reinventing yourself.

    My Fair Lady (1964)-Coarse cockney flower vendor Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) goes to Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) and his friend Col. Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White) after a chance meeting to teach her “how to talk genteel like” so she can get a job in a shop. On a bet with Pickering Higgins decides to remake Eliza and pass her off as royalty and she’s off to a fresh start! Harrison is inimitable and Audrey charming but you can’t help but yearn for Julie Andrews, who created the role on stage, and her bell like soprano. Sumptuous musical won Best Picture and is a treat for the eyes and ears.

    Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974)-Recently widowed Alice Hyatt (Ellen Burstyn) and her son Tommy leave their New Mexico town so that Alice can try her luck as a singer in California. In Arizona they find themselves short on funds and she takes a job in a small diner until they build up their resources again. But when she meets handsome rancher David (Kris Kristofferson) it looks like she might be making a new start of a different kind. Directed by Martin Scorsese this won Ellen Burstyn a Best Actress Oscar.

    Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)-Freshly divorced and in a purple funk from which she seems unable to extricate herself writer Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) is gifted by her newly pregnant friend Patti (Sandra Oh) with a tour of Italy that Patti can’t take. Passing through Tuscany Frances impulsively buys a somewhat distressed villa and sets about rebuilding her life with the help of the colorful locales and a new romance. Charming and well-acted with breathtaking vistas you’ll want to jump the next flight to Tuscany when it’s over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right that Way Down East can be slow but I like it better than you:) Glad you love Waterloo Bridge as much as I do. You are right about Sleeping but it was fun to watch. I really enjoy My Fair Lady but so agree with you about Julie Andrews but my heart still belongs to Pygmalion. Alice is an excellent pick and I forgot Scorsese directed this film probably because it is not laden with expletives. Love, Love, Love Under The Tuscan Sun and I would have chosen this but I had spoken about this sometime last year I believe. If I feel down, I stick this film in and yes, I want to go right away on a plane to live there.

      Delete
  9. That movie with Lillian Gish sounds like a fascinating one to see. I can honestly say I do not think I have ever seen a silent movie. I must remedy that soon.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be a bit slow but I really enjoy it

      Delete
  10. Hi Birgit - sounds like Sleeping with the Enemy would be the one I'd watch, yet as they are your recommendations - the other two would do as well ... and I see the Gish one is long ... I guess they played music to it .. must look - just dashing out now! Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My fav of the 3 is Waterloo Bridge myself but I hope you see one...one day:)

      Delete
  11. Wouldn't you know it. I've not only not SEEN and of these, I've not HEARD of any of them, either. I'm woefully bad when it comes to movies, it seems. But I always like to show up and read your synopses of each film you pick each week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaaaa...well, back to not seeing my film picks...hahahaaa. Sorry for laughing but I’m glad you are enjoying my reviews

      Delete
  12. I hadn't heard of the first two, but I have heard of the ice scene. I just didn't know what movie that came from. Harrowing.

    I did like Sleeping with the Enemy. Although, I haven't seen it in ages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That ice scene is justifingly famous. I think you might like Waterloo Bridge and I figured you would have seen Sleeping.

      Delete
  13. Love the trailer for Waterloo Bridge. The old movies were wonderful.

    Thank you for following my art!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love old films and love your art!

      Delete
  14. I haven't heard of any of these, but they sound interesting, especially Waterloo Bridge. I like Alex's pick of Groundhog Day, it's one of my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Groundhog Day is an excellent choice and I hope you see Waterloo Bridge

      Delete
  15. I've seen the scene of Lillian Gish on the ice a few times, but never the entire film.

    I saw Sleeping with the Enemy when it was fairly recent, but don't remember much about it.

    I preferred the 1931 version of Waterloo Bridge, which took me forever to find!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That ice flow scene is very famous. Sleeping is fun to watch and I have yet to see the 1931 original

      Delete
  16. The New Guy - D.J. Qualls, Eliza Dushku
    Hoosiers - Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey
    Frankie and Johnny - Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer

    ReplyDelete
  17. OMG is right about that Lillian Gish scene. What artists will do for their art! I suppose if it came down to it, we would, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to say...I would not! I prefer to live. If you watch to the end you will how close they were to being swept down river

      Delete
  18. I've seen the ice floe clip, but never seen any of these films. The first film about starting anew that popped into my head was "Far and Away" with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Great film about poor Irish coming to America in the late 1800's and starting new lives.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven’t seen that film but excellent pick and one I wanted to see. Thanks for reminding me

      Delete
  19. I'm very intrigued by Sleeping With The Enemy. I have been meaning to watch it for years, but I'd like to read the book first and it's been a bit difficult to find it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Fascinating back story about Lillian Gish! I hadn't heard of that movie before, but they sure gave it their all. I have seen the other two, but idn't remember much. Thanks for the refresher! A 'starting over' movie that comes to mind is "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" from 1974.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I haven't seen any of those films. And I'm racking my brain to think of good "fresh start" movies and I keep coming back to Studio Gibli movies - Japanese cartoons that I just realized LOVE the theme of a family moving to a new town and facing whatever comes along with it (in their case, usually some sort of friendly monster or ghost). Examples: My Neighbour Totoro, When Marnie Was There, Spirited Away, A Letter to Momo (okay that last one wasn't Studio Gibli, but it was obviously directly influenced by them).

    ReplyDelete
  22. Watching that first one made my hand hurt!
    YOU, have a fabulous weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  23. AND....Hope the headache is gone and you're having a fab weekend:)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Don't know any of these but sounds as though they would be enjoyable. I used to love watching movies from way, way back, don't think I ever watched a silent movie though. Lilian Gish is a famous name but never saw her perform

    ReplyDelete
  25. I remember seeing Sleeping with the Enemy. It was great (as so many of Julia's movies are).

    ReplyDelete
  26. "but know it is not a masterpiece by any means."

    Well, one few seconds scene would make the hair stand up on Hitchcock's head. When Julia Roberts steps out of the shower and the towels, formerly messed up, are at exact right angles. Shock you can practically hear shrill violin strings. Of the whole movie that's the only few seconds I remember... forever.

    3.

    Obviously Heave Can Wait with Warren Beatty. Within the movie he had three or more fresh starts that's it I'm done.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I haven't seen either of the first two movies you mentioned. I am intrigued though and have watched a lot of silent movies in the last couple of years. I did see Sleeping With the Enemy. I still remember the way the cans and pantry items looked. Some scary scenes in that movie.
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  28. I got nuttin', BIRGIT.

    Did you ever think THAT would happen? This is the second time I've visited this blog bit. I didn't have nuttin' the first time, and I still got nuttin'.

    Frankly, I'm not even sure I understand what the prompt really means. (Which might e'splain why I got nuttin'.)

    Yeah, 'GROUNDHOG DAY' would make sense to me under this category. I get THAT!

    Maybe 'SOMEWHERE IN TIME'? I dunno.

    'TOMBSTONE'? Wyatt Earp gave up "law dog" work in Kansas and tried to make a fresh start with his family in Tombstone. (Good luck with THAT, Wyatt!)

    ~ Stephen
    Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends

    ReplyDelete
  29. Birgit,

    I don't think I've ever watched a silent movie. I found the factoids interesting about Gish and thinking about these vintage stars doing their own stunts is a bit mind blowing. I don't think I can be paid enough to endure the kind of suffering she had from this one flick until her death. The only movie I know Vivian Leigh from is 'Gone With the Wind'. It's good to learn of this film. 'Sleeping With the Enemy' is an excellent flick! It's too early for me to think of movies that are about 'fresh starts'. Thanks for sharing and have a good day!

    ReplyDelete
  30. When I first saw the title of this post, "Sleeping with the Enemy" immediately came to mind. Sliding Doors would be a good one for this too, or Under the Tuscan Sun.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Sleeping with the Enemy is the only one I've seen and I no longer remember what happens beyond the basic premise.

    ReplyDelete